Master The World, Second Thought and Corinthia Knight feature among a host of this season’s top performers entered today for the fifth All-Weather Championships Finals Day at Lingfield Park on Good Friday, March 30.
The culmination of the All-Weather season, which offers total prize money of £1-milllion over the seven races on Polytrack, has firmly established itself as an integral part of the British racing calendar.
This year’s Finals Day looks set to be another outstanding event, with 12 entries for the 10-furlong £200,000 Betway Easter Classic (4.40pm) including Master The World, who has already gained a pair of Fast-Track Qualifier victories over the course and distance this season.
The David Elsworth-trained seven-year-old comfortably beat Victory Bond (William Haggas) in the Listed Betway Churchill Stakes in November and was awarded the G3 Betway Winter Derby in the stewards’ room on February 24
Mr Owen (David Simcock), a Listed winner in France earlier in the season, was demoted to second in the Betway Winter Derby for causing interference, and the six-year-old could re-oppose Master The World.
Battle Of Marathon, trained by John Ryan, was third behind Master The World and Mr Owen in the Betway Winter Derby and filled the same position in the Listed Betway Winter Derby Trial, also over a mile and quarter at Lingfield Park on February 3.
Newmarket-based Ryan commented today: “Battle Of Marathon is all set for Good Friday. His preparation could not have gone any better and we are hopeful of a good run, although you always need a bit of luck with the draw.
“I thought it was a great run in the Betway Winter Derby, when he got checked on the turn before staying on well. Josephine Gordon gave him a great ride and he has shown that he can handle the track.
“His latest piece of work this morning went very well and we are very happy with him.”
The fifth and sixth from the Betway Winter Derby – Petite Jack (Archie Watson) and Utmost (John Gosden), both course and distance Listed winners this season, may also line up along with Abe Lincoln (Jeremy Noseda) and Star Archer (Hugo Palmer).
Second Thought (William Haggas) heads 12 contenders for the £150,000 Sunbets All-Weather Mile Championships (4.10pm). The four-year-old stretched his unbeaten All-Weather record to six with a swooping victory in the Listed sunbets.co.uk Lady Wulfruna Stakes at Wolverhampton on March 10
His rivals are set to include Arcanada (Tom Dascombe), who beat Mr Owen in a Wolverhampton conditions race in February, the 2016 All-Weather Mile Championships winner Captain Joy (Tracey Collins IRE) and Goring (Eve Johnson-Houghton), a four-time course and distance scorer this season.
Less than a length separated Kachy (Tom Dascombe), Kimberella (Richard Fahey), Caspian Prince (Julia Brooke) and Gulliver (Hugo Palmer) in the Listed Betway Cleves Stakes at Lingfield Park on February 3 and all four feature among 12 entries for the £150,000 Betway All-Weather Sprint Championships (3.05pm)
Other leading contenders for the six-furlong contest include Fast-Track Qualifier winners City Light (Stephane Wattel FR) and Gifted Master (Hugo Palmer) plus Listed Betway Hever Sprint victor Gracious John (David Evans).
G1 runner-up Red Verdon (Ed Dunlop) is due to step up to two miles for the first time in the £150,000 Betway All-Weather Marathon Championships (2.00pm), in which he could face impressive Newcastle Fast-Track Qualifier winner Mountain Bell (Ralph Beckett).
Watersmeet (Mark Johnston) and Funny Kid (Christophe Ferland FR), who fought out a thrilling finish to a Fast-Track Qualifier at Wolverhampton in January, also feature among the 12 entries.
Corinthia Knight has thrived over the winter for trainer Archie Watson and the dual Fast-Track Qualifier scorer, a Listed winner in France on March 15, headlines 13 entries for the six-furlong £150,000 32Red Three-Year-Old All-Weather Championships (3.40pm).
Fast-Track Qualifier scorers Soul Silver (David Simcock), Summer Icon (Mick Channon) and Nivvo (Tracey Collins IRE) all feature in 15 entries for the £150,000 32Red All-Weather Fillies’ And Mares’ Championships (2.30pm) over seven furlongs.
Diagnostic (William Haggas), a three-time winner at Chelmsford in the autumn, Listed 32Red EBF Stallions Fleur de Lys Fillies’ Stakes runner-up Zest (James Fanshawe) and the Charlie Fellowes-trained duo of Carolinae and Mia Tesoro also hold entries.
Racing gets underway with the seven-furlong £50,000 Sunbets All-Weather Championships Apprentice Handicap (1.30pm), which has attracted 37 entries including Masham Star (Mark Johnston) and Early Morning (Harry Dunlop), who were third and fourth behind Second Thought in the including Listed sunbets.co.uk Lady Wulfruna Stakes.